Green Bay Packers (3-0) 49, Chicago Bears (2-1) 0
Sunday September 30th 1962 (at Green Bay)
GAME RECAP (GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE)
(GREEN BAY) - The Packers unloaded both barrels at the Bears in City Stadium Sunday afternoon. It was 49 to 0 - the worst beating Green Bay ever gave the Bears, and it certainly warmed the hearts of all Packer diehards who, by tradition, have little love for the Midway Monsters. The Packers, in full view of 38,669 sun-drenched spectators, turned in four quarters of devastating defensive football and exploded their offense for the first time this year. Bart Starr engineered the Pack to seven touchdowns and 409 yards, taking a 14-0 halftime edge and a 35-0 bulge going into the final frame. The defense allowed Chicago in Packer territory, just three times all day, intercepted five passes and had a finger in four touchdowns. The defending champs now face the top contender in the Western Division, the Lions who also scored their third straight victory, a 29-20 win at Baltimore. The Packer-Lion sawoff is scheduled for City Stadium next Sunday. The defensers hurled their second straight shutout, following the 17-0 win over the Cardinals last Sunday, and the third in their last four for-real games. They blanked the Giants in the playoff and then allowed one TD vs. Minnesota in the opener. And, get this, the Packers have allowed the Bears just two touchdowns in four games in City Stadium since Vince Lombardi came upon the scene in 1959. It was 9-6, Green Bay, with two field goals for the Bears in 1959; 17-14 in favor of the Bears in '60; and 24-0, Green Bay, in '61. What's more, this was the Pack's fourth straight league win over the Bears, starting with the second game in 1960. Green Bay hadn't won that many in a row over the Bears since the 1928-29-30 era when the Pack had a seven-game win skein. The Bears were hurting Sunday and three of their stars had to be held out with injuries - linebacker Bill George and halfbacks Willie Galimore and Charley Bivins. But their presence certainly would not have kept the Pack from victory.
HORNUNG GOES OUT
The Packers' 21-first down offense must have been discouraging for the Bears. Paul Hornung went out with a muscle pull after two carries, but Tom Moore came forth to give Jim Taylor ample rushing assistance. When Moore was hurt, Elijah Pitts more than kept up the pressure with 64 yards and one touchdown. There was no letup in the Packer offense as Starr called on Taylor for the speedy work. Jarrin' Jim rolled up 126 yards in 17 trips and scored touchdowns on blasts of 1, 2 and 10 yards. Starr scored himself on a five-yard trip and threw a 54-yard TD pass to Ron Kramer. The other TDs were counted on a 21-yard run by Pitts and a 50-yard return of an intercepted pass by Herb Adderley. Any one of those TDs would have won it, as the game turned out - thanks to the defense's superb job. The Packers ate up Chicago with a 244-yard ground game and passed just enough to keep the Bears honest. Starr completed 9 of 12 for 154 yards and John Roach had 1 for 1. Boyd Dowler led the receivers with five for 57 yards. Starr got 100 yards out of the left half spot - to go with fullback Taylor's 126. Hornung ran for 14 in two and Moore followed with 22 in 8, while Pitts got his timing back in a big hurry for 64 yards in 9 trips and then caught two passes for 40 yards. The defense got its biggest test in the second quarter when the Bears reached the Bay 13 following a 63-yard Bill Wade to Joe Marconi pass. The defense was riled and promptly threw the Bears back 20 yards in two trips, with Willie Davis making two big plays in a row, and Roger Leclerc finally missed a field goal from the 34. That was the closest Chicago came to scoring. Chicago had only two other "threats." On the last play of the half, Wade and Ronnie Bull worked a 21-yard pass to the Bay 31 - only to have Willie Wood steal and/or intercept the throw. Then early in the fourth frame the Bears reached the Packer 28 where they lost the ball on downs. And now for the Packers scoring. Starr, after getting 44 yards out of Taylor and Hornung on the game's first four plays, had a rough passing start. His first throw to Taylor was dropped and his next, to Max McGee, was intercepted by Dave Whitsell. But Starr proceeded to complete nine of his next 10 throws. Oh yes, the scoring: The first TD drive went 66 yards in 10 plays, starting on the first play of the second quarter. Taylor and Moore carried on the first six plays for 45 yards and then Starr hit McGee for 15 up the middle to the six. Three plays later Taylor crashed over right tackle for the TD. Hornung, though he played but a few minutes, came out with all seven extra points. It was 7-0 at 5:34. After Leclerc missed his FG, the Bays went on an 80-yard TD march in 7 plays. Moore and Taylor went 11 yards in a try apiece and then Starr threw to Dowler for 7 and Moore added eight when he hurt his shoulder. Pitts came on but two running plays gaining zero and Starr tried a pass. The throw was a sharp shot up the middle to Kramer, who juked Whitsell out of his shoes about the Bear 35. Kramer proceeded down the
west sidelines and into the end zone to complete the 54-yard TD play, with Taylor blocking out J.C. Caroline on the 10. It was 14-0 at 13:46. The Bears gambled early in the third period on fourth down on the Packer 43, but the defense hurled Bull for a yard loss on tackles by Jess Whittenton and Bill Forester. The Bays moved 43 yards in four plays. Starr threw 12 to Dowler and Taylor zoomed 26 yards around left end to the two. From there Taylor cracked over and it was 21-0 at 7:03. Rudy Bukich replaced Wade and his first pass was tipped by Bill Quinlan and Ray Nitschke intercepted on the Bear 12. It was 28-0 in two plays, with Pitts going 21 around right end for the TD. Elijah got a good block from Fuzzy Thurston and then ran around Roosevelt Taylor and Caroline. Bukich's next pass was intercepted by Hank Gremminger on the Bear 24 and this time Starr got a TD in four plays, eating up a 15-yard holding penalty along the way. The big plays were Pitts' 31-yard run around right end and a 10-yard scoring smash by Taylor. It was 35-0 at 12:24. Early in the fourth period, the Bays rolled 72 yards in nine plays for their sixth TD. Starr's 23-yard pass to Dowler and a 29-yard throw to Pitts got the action started. After Starr hurled to Dowler for 10 yards to the 3, Pitts and Earl Gros each lost a yard. Starr then ran five yards around left end for the TD, faking a pass to Pitts and Kramer as he moved. That made it 42-0 at 5:52. After Wood's second interception, Roach put together two first downs and narrowly missed a third. The Bears also added a first down but on a long Wade pass to Angie Coia, Herb Adderley intercepted on the 50 and raced 50 yards to a TD, with Hank Jordan blocking out the last obstacle, QB Wade. Hornung's extra point on the final TD was his 95th straight without a miss in a league game.
CHICAGO - 0 0 0 0 - 0
GREEN BAY - 0 14 21 14 - 49
CHICAGO GREEN BAY
First Downs 7 21
Rushing-Yards-TD 28-85-0 42-244-5
Att-Comp-Yd-TD-Int 20-7-132-0-5 13-10-165-1-1
Sack Yards Lost 41 0
Total Yards 176 409
Fumbles-lost 1-0 2-0
Turnovers 5 1
Yards penalized 3-31 2-26
2nd - GB - Jim Taylor, 1-yard run (Paul Hornung kick) GREEN BAY 7-0
2nd - GB - Ron Kramer, 54-yard pass from Bart Starr (Hornung kick) GREEN BAY 14-0
3rd - GB - Taylor, 3-yard run (Hornung kick) GREEN BAY 21-0
3rd - GB - Elijah Pitts, 26-yard run (Hornung kick) GREEN BAY 28-0
3rd - GB - Taylor, 11-yard run (Hornung kick) GREEN BAY 35-0
4th - GB - Starr, 5-yard run (Hornung kick) GREEN BAY 42-0
4th - GB - Herb Adderley, 50-yard interception return (Hornung kick) GREEN BAY 49-0
GREEN BAY - Jim Taylor 17-126 3 TD, Elijah Pitts 9-64 1 TD, Tom Moore 8-22, Paul Hornung 2-14, Earl Gros 5-13, Bart Starr 1-5 1TD
CHICAGO - Joe Marconi 11-46, Ronnie Bull 8-31, Johnny Morris 1-4, Rick Casares 4-3, Billy Martin 2-2, Billy Wade 2-(-1)
GREEN BAY - Bart Starr 12-9-154 1 TD 1 INT, John Roach 1-1-11
CHICAGO - Billy Wade 18-7-132 3 INT, Rudy Bukich 2-0-0 2 INT
GREEN BAY - Boyd Dowler 5-57, Elijah Pitts 2-40, Ron Kramer 1-54 1 TD, Max McGee 1-15, Jim Taylor 1-(-1)
CHICAGO - Joe Marconi 2-76, Johnny Morris 2-12, John Adams 1-24, Mike Ditka 1-12, Billy Martin 1-8
PACK 'JUST TOO GOOD FOR US,' HALAS; 'BEST GAME,' VINCE
OCT 1 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - Fighting back the pain, a weary George Halas wrapped up Sunday's City Stadium shambles in a tidy 8-word capsule. "They were just too good for us today," the venerable Papa Bear sadly conceded in the wake of the Packers' 49-0 decimation of the once-awesome Chicago Bears, the most resounding defeat in the prideful Bears' 43-year history. "That's about all you can say," said the man who has produced more world championships (seven) than any other coach in NFL history, leaning back heavily upon a folding chair in this Stadium "office." "The Packers were really a great team out there today." As great, perhaps, as his memorable 1941 Monsters of the Midway? Declining to make such an evaluation, the Bears' longtime owner-coach replied, "I never compare teams." (A week earlier, he had been quoted by a Los Angeles writer as saying, "The Packers do not yet walk upon the water.") How much, did he feel, the absence of Bill George handicapped the Bruins? "George is a great football player," Halas, lifting his eyes from a coup of the game statistics to concentrate upon his interrogator, declared, "His absence made a substantial difference, no question about it." Several other Chicagoans had been missing, or subpar, it was suggested. "That's right," the Bears' 68-year-old founder said. "Charley Bivins didn't suit up, J.C. Caroline wasn't at top speed, and Galimore didn't play at all." He didn't mention Rick Casares, the Bears' all-time ground gainer, who was hampered by a heel injury. Had any of his teams been so victimized by injuries. "No," Halas responded with alacrity. "This is the worst epidemic we've ever had." What had been the Bear thinking behind the decision to "go for it" with fourth down and one on the visitor's 44-yard line early in the third quarter? "We felt we had to go for it," George declared. Enunciating with quiet but unmistakable clarity, he added, "It wasn't the quarterback's (Bill Wade) fault. That was my fault. We were a little warm there for a moment and I thought we could do it. Remember, if we hadn't tried it, they still would have won 14-0." Did he feel the Bruins had played a bad game? "It was a combination of a bad game on our part and an excellent game on theirs," Halas responded dryly. "Nothing else could have produced so many points." "They were a great team today, we were a poor team," the pro football pioneer summed up cryptically. "That's it, period."...A picture of quiet elation, Vince Lombardi unhesitatingly labeled the Packers' unexpected waltz "our best performance so far. Both units played extremely well." "We've played good ball games before," he added by way of explanation, "but everything seemed to work today. Everything we tried worked." Lombardi paused to mop perspiration from his brow with a handkerchief, which prompted one scribe to quip, "What did you have to sweat about today?" This elicited a grin, which served as a reply, from the Packer headmaster. Had he expected such a rout, he was asked. "No, of course not," Vince shot back. How did he explain it? "Well, for one thing, the Bears were hurt a little bit. I'm sure that didn't help them any. You can't take people like Bill George and Willie Galimore out of their lineup and expect the Bears to be 100 percent." What about the Chicagoan's ill-fated decision for it on fourth down in the third quarter? "I don't know what he was thinking," Lombardi replied. "That's his decision, of course. I don't know how he felt at the time." Speaking of the Bears' injuries, had he been convinced (going into the game) that they were legitimate? "I read all of that stuff in the papers," Vince admitted, "but I never heard anything officially." Had there been any change in strategy to exploit Bill George's absence? "No, we didn't make any changes. We did the same thing we did last week, only we did it better." In this connection, he observed, "We were running outside better today. We hadn't been running well outside, you know, up until today." Admitting it had been a performance which did not make for singling out individuals, Lombardi did, however, make specific reference to sophomore Elijah Pitts and the bruising Jim Taylor. "Pitts had a great day," he said, "and Taylor had another good day." What about the immediate future of Packer casualties Paul Hornung and Tom Moore? "Hornung got a muscle pull on the inside of his leg, but it's not a groin pull," Vince reported, "and Moore hurt his left shoulder. It was the same injury he had in the All-Star game. I don't think it's too serious, however. It's not a bone - it's probably a strain." Did he have any concern about the lopsided score? somebody asked. "I didn't try to do it," Vince said, a note of compassion in his tone. "I felt badly about it but there was nothing we could do about it." Did he think this performance might work to the Packers' advantage in next week's early season showdown with the Detroit Lions? "I haven't the slightest idea," Lombardi declared. "I don't think it's any advantage or disadvantage. This game was rough enough, as far as I was concerned. It wasn't easy by any stretch of the imagination." The Packers will be heading into the Detroit imbroglio with a 3-0 record. Did he think this meant the Pack was well on its way to another title? "I don't think anything means anything in this league," was the succinct reply. "All I can say is, that's three we've got under our belts. They can't take those away from us."..."NO COMMENT": A dejected Bill Wade, who had one of the most dismal afternoons of his nine-year pro career, was too depressed to comment upon the day's proceedings. Asked if he ever had faced a more harrowing rush, Bill studied the floor for a full 30 seconds and quietly replied, "I really don't have much to say. I really am not in a mood to comment about this game."..."ALL FOR ONE...": A great Packer strength was demonstrated in the second quarter. One of the first to congratulate Ron Kramer after his 54-yard rumble to a touchdown was the man he replaced at tight end, Gary Knafelc, who greeted the burly Michigan immortal with an enthusiastic handshake and a commendatory pat upon the britches...SRO: As one locally famous malapropism once described a similar situation, the stadium pressbox was "jammed to captivity." Built to accommodate 130 members of the fourth estate, television and radio, Sunday it contained no less than 141 representatives of these media, custodian Clem Collard reported. Three of the nation's most famous wordsmiths, incidentally, were among them. W.C. (Bill) Heinz, shortly to start immortalizing Vince Lombardi in a 60,000-word book, patrolled the sidelines collecting final material for his project, while Look Magazine's Tim Cohane and Tex Maule of Sports Illustrated held forth upstairs..."LIP" RETURNS: Mountainous Paul Lipscomb, a Packer tackle from 1945 through 1948 who later saw service with the Bears (as well as the Washington Redskins), was on hand to see his "alma maters" clash. Just back from Europe, where he served as sales manager for an American brewery, Lipscomb is now living in Milwaukee..."BLUE" BRUIN: The closing minutes of the fourth quarter were enlivened by the appearance of a disconsolate "bear," (a spectator dressed in black overalls and a bear's head), which was towed along the sidelines by a somewhat transported fellow fan.
PITTS SAID: 'FIGURED I'D ONLY BE ON PLATOONS'
OCT 1 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - His gleaming white teeth flashing a smile that spoke volumes, sophomore Elijah Pitts happily conceded, "It was sort of unexpected." Little Philander T. Smith's most noted alumnus, briskly toweling his bronzed shoulders in a corner of the Packer dressing room, was discussing the circumstances which catapulted him into the spotlight against Chicago's surprisingly docile Bears Sunday afternoon following injuries to incumbent left halfback Paul Hornung and his immediate understudy, Tom Moore. "When I came to the stadium today, I figured I'd only be playing on platoons," Elijah grinned. As it turned out, he held forth at LH the entire second half, amassing 64 yards in nine carries - 26 of them on a dazzling scoring dash, and snared two passes for 40 more. Although delighted with the opportunity, the modest Little Rock resident wasn't entirely happy with his performance. "I had trouble hitting the holes in the first half," Elijah confessed soberly. "Then, all of a sudden, I was hitting them pretty well." "Last year, I had a lot of trouble because I was getting to the hole too fast," he explained. Then, with a note of satisfaction, he added, "I slowed it down today. And weren't they blocking out there? Whew!" Pitts credited Fuzzy Thurston with a major assist in his scoring sortie. "It looked like there were two who had a shot at me," Elijah recalled. "The linebacker came up the field on the outside. Fuzzy turned up and took the halfback - and that was it." Elijah's veteran collaborator this sunny afternoon, hard rock Jim Taylor, confessed with a broad grin, "We were a little stronger than I thought we were. Of course, it's easy to get a lot of points when you've got a defense like that." Taylor's square-cut countenance was wreathed in smiles for another reason. The 126 yards he had amassed, Jim let it be known, were fully as important to him as the three touchdowns he had scored. "I'm hoping to get off to a fast start (in his annual battle with Cleveland's Jim
Brown for the NFL rushing title)," he admitted. "Our linemen are going all out for me. They're giving me 100 percent all the time." Pausing for an oblique bow in the direction of Cleveland, the bayou bronco declared, "Competition is a great thing. It's good for both of us." How did he expect to fare against Detroit? "Detroit has a real tough unit - the best defensive unit in the league," Taylor asserted. "We'll get a real test next week." Brawny Ray Nitschke, whose interception of a third down pass by Rudy Bukich triggered the Pack's second half getaway, shrugged off applause for his contribution. "The ball was right on my fingertips - Bill Quinlan tipped it. He was mad, too," Ray grinned. "He thought he had it." Another interceptor, catlike Herb Adderley, confided his fourth quarter scoring scamper with a waylaid Wade aerial had resulted from a gamble - against an old colleague. "I played on the same high school team with Coia (Angelo) in Philadelphia and I respect his speed," Herb said. "Most of the time I was dropping off, expecting him to run a hitch and go. That one time I gambled. If he'd caught it, he probably would have gone all the way, too." Another successful "long ball" operative, massive Ron Kramer, said, "I thought I was gone when I got past that outside man. At least I didn't see anybody else. Taylor's block helped a lot." Kramer, who counted his second touchdown of the season on that 54-yard venture, took pride in the fact "I juked that last man," illustrating the maneuver with an abbreviated version of the twist. Needless to say, it was a boisterous dressing room. But there was one among them, old pro Jim Ringo, who had a twinge of compassion for the victims. "It's just like what happened to us in Baltimore last year (45-21)," observed the veteran all-pro center who has undergone a number of like experiences in a 10-year career. "Sitting on the other side of the field, you know how it feels."
LIONS TAKE NOTE OF 7 IN PACK OP COLUMN
OCT 2 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - We don't know about you folks, but this headache dodger is still sightly daffy over the achievements of the Packer defense. It's downright fantastic that this group of snarlers has allowed just seven points in the first three games of this new season. This has to be the most noteworthy accomplishment in the league thus far (with apologies to the Redskins) and we have a hunch that the Lions, and Milt Plum in particular, have noticed the "7" in the OP column of the league standings. The Lions, of course, hope to enlarge on that figure in City Stadium next Sunday. Without a doubt, Detroit stands to give the Packers' defense its most rigid test. Coach Vince Lombardi noted today that "the Lions already have a great defense and they've helped their offense considerably." That they've helped their offense shows up in the "PS" column of the standing. The Lions have scored 119 points - highest in the league, and that's warning enough right there. It makes for an average of 37.6 per game. Before digging into Detroit, let's see how much the defense really has road-blocked the three foes thus far. The Vikings (34-7), Cardinals (17-0) and Bears (49-0) have pierced Packer territory just 10 times in the first three games and two of those were of the "midfield" variety. The Bears might have had another "pierce" but for a change in a ruling on a fumble and/or interception. On the last play of the half, Wade passed to Ronnie Bull for 21 yards to the Packer 31. It was at first ruled a fumble when Bull "fumbled" and Willie Wood recovered. This would put the Bears in GB territory for a moment. However, the official scorer changed his decision to an interception on the grounds that Wood recovered before the ball hit the ground. Thus, the Bears never reached Packer territory on the play. On another occasion, the Bears reached the "50" but Wood ended that by intercepting a Wade pass aimed at Angie Coia. The defensive unit, the pride and joy of Coaching Aides Phil Bengtson and Norb Hecker, has been operating chiefly with 14 individuals - the 11 starters plus three active replacements. The front line has Willie Davis, Hank Jordan, Dave Hanner and Bill Quinlan with chief aide from tackle Ron Kostelnik who played considerable Sunday, including a spell at end. The linebackers are Capt. Bill Forester, Dan Currie and Ray Nitschke, with Nelson Toburen the lone relief. The secondary opens with Jess Whittenton and Herb Adderley at the corners and Willie Wood and Hank Gremminger at safety, with Johnny Symank standing by. The unit has one rookie member, Ron Gassert, a defensive lineman who is fighting off a leg injury. Gassert re-injured the leg in the Cardinal game. Congrats for now. The Lions are next!...Lombardi reiterated his views on Sunday's victory after viewing the pictures, noting that the films showed "we played a good football game." The Lions loom as the Packer's leading contender at the moment but Vince chuckled: "They're all contenders as far as we're concerned. Next week it will be the Vikings." The Packers went on the practice field today and the drills will determine the extent of injuries to Paul Hornung and Tom Moore, who were hurt in the Bear game. After practice, the squad will hear a first-hand report on the Lions from Scout Wally Cruice who viewed the Lion-Colt game in Baltimore.
GROS FUMBLE BRINGS COMFORT FROM RINGO
OCT 2 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - Earl Gros fumbled the second half kickoff and Herb Adderley saved the day by recovering and returning nine yards. Head down a bit, Gros trotted off the field as the offensive unit came forth. Jim Ringo, captain of the offensive team and a veteran of 10 pro seasons, made a beeline for Gros, gave him an understanding pat on the back, and then led the offense back into action. Gros held his head higher as he completed his run off the field. Asked about it later, Ringo said, "I knew he felt bad about it. The rookies will make mistakes and they need every bit of encouragement they can get." Adderley, standing nearby, added: "Sophomores will make mistakes, too. You never stop learning." A Packer since 1953, Ringo went through the Packs' stormiest years. He knows about encouragement. But let's take a look at some of the circled notations in our play-by-play book on the Pack's 49-0 win: NOTION - Willie Wood lifted his right
Sports Illustrated - October 8th 1962
hand a few inches while waiting for Bobby Joe Green's high punt early in the game, but he changed his mind, caught the ball and moved back three yards through heavy traffic...HIT HOLE - Billy Martin, on a third and seven to go play, tried the left side of the Packer line. When Billy Wade was calling signals, linebacker Ray Nitschke jittered around into a space in the line. Sure enough Martin headed for that "space" and smacked head on into Ray with Willie Davis hanging on his legs...FG TEAM - The Bays had a third and five situation on the Bear 21 when the field goal team leaped off the bench and headed for the sideline. The unit head back to the bench when Bart Starr threw a 15-yard pass to Max McGee on the 6. Taylor scored the first TD three plays later...BIG HAND - The Packer defense was given a standing ovation midway in the second quarter after stopping the Bears cold and forcing a field goal. The visitors had reached the Bay 13 but wound up on the 27 after three downs. Willie Davis had thrown Wade back twice. Roger Leclerc then missed a field goal from the 34...HEAD ON - Tom Moore hit off left tackle for eight yards in the second frame and ran shoulder high into Leclerc. Tom slid off and completed the run but this was the hit that knocked Moore out. Elijah Pitts replaced him...TENSE - The first real tense moment of the game came when the Bears, with a fourth and one situation on their own 44, went for it. Ronnie Bull lost a yard off the left side, via Jess Whittenton and Bill Forester, and the Bays had the ball...JERGIE IN-OUT: When Nelson Toburen was stretched out in the fourth quarter, Trainer Bud Jorgensen raced onto the field, stopped as it appeared Toburen was okay, and then started out again. Dr. Jim Nellen, team physician, also dashed out and Toburen was quickly revived. Jorgensen was being careful not to draw a timeout, which is "almost" automatic if the trainer is on the field...GO GO GO - The fans were yelling go go go when the Pack had a fourth and "inches" on the Bear 47 with the score 42-0 and only four minutes left. Boyd Dowler was sent out to punt, however, as the Bay bench indicated that the score was healthy enough. As it turned out, Herb Adderley returned an interception 50 yards for a touchdown a couple of minutes later...BAD SPOT - The Bears could not have been worst off on the last play. They were on their own 4-yard line, the score was 49 to 0, the clock showed only 5 seconds left and their punter had to stand just inside the end line. The gun ended the game before the ball was snapped.
PACKERS SET TICKET MARK
OCT 2 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - Packer season ticket sales for Milwaukee County Stadium climbed to 28,881 for the 1962 season, an all-time high, Coach-GM Vince Lombardi announced today. The sale almost doubled the former record of 16,124, set a year ago. The Packers have played before six straight sellout crowds (County Stadium's football capacity if 44,470) in Milwaukee, four last season and two thus far this year. The Packers make two more Milwaukee appearances, against San Francisco Oct. 21 and the Los Angeles Rams Dec. 4.
PLUM'S CONSISTENCY SPARKS LIONS' SURGE
OCT 3 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - The obvious story today is Milt Plum. He's leading the league in passing. He quarterbacks the Lions. (The Lions play in Green Bay Sunday.) He's the reason the Lions are where they are. He's a former robot. He now is allowed to think and move for himself. He is extremely happy with his football fortunes. Plum wears No. 16. He stands 6-2 and weighs 205 pounds. He was born Jan. 20, 1935, at Westville, N.J. Married, two children (Karen Ann 3 and Linda Marie 1). He was drafted second by the Browns in 1957 and worked under Tommy O'Connell as a rookie. Plum was the league's second best passer as a sophomore and then dropped to seventh in 1959. He won the league's passing title in 1960 and '61. He didn't like being a robot QB (calling signals from the bench via messengers) and said so. Coach Paul Brown traded him to Detroit for Jim Ninowski. Coach George Wilson lets the QB "do it yourself." Plum is doing it himself. So now you know about Milt Plum. The fact that the Lions move into City Stadium with a 3-0 record is directly traceable to the presence of Plum. Wilson makes no bones about it: "No matter how you try to size it up (the Lions' success). The key has got to be Plum. He's given our team confidence. Right now, I believe they'd be willing to follow him to hell and back. We haven't had anybody around Detroit like that since Bobby Layne was at his peak. Layne could tell his team to run through a wall and they'd just about do it. Plum will be able to do the same thing if he keeps going." Wilson's mouthpiece, Publicitor Bud Erickson, who will be on the local scene shortly, says Plum gives us "added consistency. Look at the third down plays he's made for us. In the first game (Steelers), he made 10 out of 14 third plays. He was successful on something like 9 of 13 in the second (49ers). In Baltimore last Sunday, he had us away 17-7 and on the Colts' 7-yard line. He called a pass to Cogdill and he was free on a bend in but when the ball left Plum's hand Cogdill went out and the pass was intercepted. Milt didn't have a string to pull it back. We were that close to being ahead 24-7 and maybe on our way to an easy one. But the Colts scrambled back and we had to fight all the way." And fight they did. The Lions won 29-20 - thanks to a 45-yard quarterback sneak by Plum. "Milt was the most surprised guy in the park on that one. He made the first down and then 'all of a sudden,' he said, 'there was nobody around. So I just kept running,'" Erickson added. Plum is leading the "stix" in two important categories - percent completed, with 64.6, and touchdown passes, 9. He has completed 53 out of 82 for 783 yards. He had four passes intercepted. Flanker Terry Barr is his chief receiver, with 17 catches for 388 yards and three TDs. The Pack's Bart Starr moved into fifth place with a sparkling job against the Bears. Bart has 30 out of 52 (30 less attempts than Plum) for 435 yards and a completion figure of 57.7. He had three intercepted - two by the Cardinals and one by the Bears. His top receiver is Boyd Dowler with 13 catches. Boyd is five catches behind leaders Jim McDonald, Red Phillips and Tim Brown. The two eye openers in the world statistics today are in the rushing and interception departments. Our Jim Taylor tops the rushing with his 323 stripes in 57 attempts for a fine average of 5.7. Jim Brown, the four-time defending rush champ, is second with 260 yards on 49 attempts - average 5.3. The Packers just about "own" the interception column. Four players are listed and three are Bays - Willie Wood, the leader with four steals, and Herb Adderley and Hank Gremminger with three each. Ross Fichtner of the Browns is the only other player with three. The Pack's other interceptions: Jess Whittenton 1, Ray Nitschke 1. Paul Hornung came up with seven extra points beside a muscle pull to keep his scoring lead with 46 points. Bobby Mitchell of Washington is next with 36. Sunday's Packer enemy has one other leader besides Plum. That would be Yale Lary, the sneaky little punter (he runs instead of punting at times), who has an average of 50 yards. Coach Vince Lombardi stepped up the tempo of drills today and all hands were running, including injured Paul Hornung and Tom Moore. Today's drill was conducted on a soggy field and intermittent rain...PS - This paragraph appeared in the Monday column of Doc Greene, Detroit News sportswriters: "It's champion Green Bay next week, of course, and if it matters to you. Karras (Alex, Lion tackle) used the expression, 'we'll beat 'em if we have to take guns and
knives with us.'"
WILSON RIGHT - BARR GREAT!
OCT 3 (Detroit Free Press) - In his flashy early season showing for the Lions, Terry Barr has done more than make himself look good. Barr's pass catching has enhanced the reputation of Milt Plum and his swiftness had made something of a prophet of head coach George Wilson. It was Wilson who last summer first called attention to Barr, the Lions' flanker. "He's going to be great. He should have one heck of a season," Wilson predicted. Thus far, it has turned out precisely that way for the former University of Michigan halfback. Barr at the moment is the leading pass receiver in the NFL with 17 catches for 338 yards and three touchdowns. His five catches against the Baltimore Colts last Sunday, one of them going for 80 yards and a score, were made despite constant double-teaming against him by the defense. Barr has taken a fast start on the Lions' Gail Cogdill and Jim Gibbons for team receiver honors. Cogdill and Gibbons each caught 45 passes and Barr 40 last season. But Cogdill and Gibbons now are trailing Barr with 10 and nine receptions. The Lions met at their team headquarters Tuesday afternoon to watch movies of the Green Bay Packers who they face next Sunday in a showdown for the Western Division lead. They move into the permanent quarters at Tiger Stadium Wednesday to begin on-the-field preparations for the game.
PACKER-LION DUEL PAIRS NFL'S TWO BEST DEFENSES
OCT 4 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - The Packers and Lions have the two best defenses in the NFL. These two unbeaten teams, leaders of the West who collide at City Stadium Sunday, are tops in 13 of the 16 statistical categories by which the NFL measures defensive excellence. Of those 13, our Packers lead in 9, the Lions 4. What makes your defense so good? We hurled that question today at the Pack's defensive captain, Bill Forester, and probably the only Lion who will talk at this stage of the week, publicist Bud Erickson. Linebacker Forester answered thusly: "The four guys up front (Bill Quinlan, Hank Jordan, Willie Davis, Dave Hanner) putting the pressure on the passer and their pursuit on running plays! The secondary has been tackling real well. We're (the linebackers) just taking the blockers down and they're making the tackles. There's not a whole
lot for us to do. Whittenton has been tackling good. He got that Crow a couple of times in Milwaukee and he was in on the Bears. So were Wood, Gremminger and Herb. The coaching of Phil and Norb by all means. They give us a lot of help during the week and we're always ready. Ray (Nitschke) and Dapper Dan (Currie) are having good years. Old Dapper didn't have much to do Sunday (vs. the Bears). Guess he was lucky." What about Forester? Come to think of it, Bill didn't say! As a biased observer, we'd like to add that Forester, too, is having a good season. Erickson is here to service the press, radio and TV boys and, of course, he has all the answers. His version of an answer to paragraph 3 follows: "Well, we think we have the two best defensive tackles in the league in Alex Karras and Roger Brown to start with. Our defensive unit is all veteran and we made just one change from last year. Sam Williams, who was a handyman in 1961, is playing regularly at right end in place of Bill Glass, who went to the Browns in the trade. The other end is Darris McCord, and he's one of the better ones. The linebackers and secondary are the same. Joe Schmidt is back for his 10th year, Carl Brettschneider his seventh and Wayne Walker his fifth. Our secondary (Dick Lane, Dick LeBeau, Yale Lary, Gary Lowe) gave up 305 yards in the 49er game but most of that came on three long passes. We had a pretty good lead at the time and maybe they relaxed, too. We have given up only 203 yards rushing in three games. That's an average of 67 yards a game. The defense has allowed only 2.7 yards per rush. Baltimore got 84 yards, San Francisco 75 and Pittsburgh 44." Defensive figures point to the defensive power of the two clubs. One of the most imposing figures is the interception total of 12. That's a bundle for three games - an average of four. Four a game would figure out to 56, a league record. The league record is 42 and is possessed by, of all people, the Packers who set the mark in 1943. Three stars of that era, known more for their offensive ability, grabbed 25 of those interceptions - Irv Comp, with 10, Don Hutson 8 and Joe Laws 7. Comp, who lives in Milwaukee, was the Pack's passing tailback, while Hutson, of course, was the immortal pass receiver. Laws, then in the twilight of a great career, was a break-away runner and left-handed passing threat. Hutson now lives in Racine and Laws is a Green Bayite. The Bay defense set a goal of 35 interceptions this year after totaling 22 in 1960 and 29 in 1961. The unit had eight interceptions after the first three games last year. Interceptions won't come easy Sunday, what with Milt Plum's "hate" for having an opposite uniform catch his throws. In winning the pass title with the Browns the last two years, Milt had the lowest pass interception percentage - 3.3 (of 302 attempt) in 1961 and 2.0 (of 250) in 1960. He's a little more human thus far this year. He had 4 intercepted in 82 attempts, a percentage of 4.9...A steady and at times driving rain didn't keep the Packers off the practice field Wednesday. Coach Vince Lombardi put the Bays through a full-scale workout on the soggy turf and if the Bays run into rain Sunday, it will be old hat. All hands were present, accounted for and running.
LIONS ARE UNDERDOGS - 1ST TIME THIS YEAR!
OCT 4 (Detroit Free Press) - High up in the stadium balcony last Sunday, three interlopers sat huddled before charts and notebooks, busily watching and making note of every move the Lions made against the Baltimore Colts. In a day when personal scouting has been largely abandoned by pro football teams, the champion Green Bay Packers were leaving nothing to chance. These last two unbeaten, untied teams in the NFL meet at Green Bay Sunday, and the stakes are high: Leadership in the Western Division race. The Packers' respect for the Lions apparently is deeper than that of outsiders. For the first time this season, the Lions have been made underdogs. The spread is a surprisingly high 8 1/2 points. Lion head coach George Wilson shows no concern over the fact that the Packers have had an almost constant watch on his team's activity. Wilson has come to believe that personal scouting is useless, if not damaging. The Lions have done none of it this season, and don't intend to do any. "The day of the game scout is gone," Wilson insisted. "There was a time before we were allowed movies of our opponents, and when the quality of the movies was bad, that scouts were essential. But now, we can learn as much from watching movies of our opponents." Sometimes, the coach said, he can "see" more. "A lot of times a personal scout will report he saw such-and-such happen in a game," Wilson explained. "But, then, you check it against the game movie and it didn't happen the way he saw it. The movies are far more reliable. They don't mislead you as a scout may sometimes do." No one scout, or even three, can furnish the kind of information available from a single game movie, the coach insisted. "You'd have to have one scout watching each man on the field," said Wilson, "to equal what you get in a game movie." The Lions have had their "look" at the Packers. For the last two days, the coaches' working hours have gone far into the night as they sat before a silver screen, movie projector purring, charting the Packers. What did they see? "Well, the Packers are basically the same as they were last year," said Scooter McLean, the Lions' backfield coach. McLean was head coach of the Packers four years ago. He has a keen knowledge of the great majority of Green Bay's key players. "The games we've watched closest," added Wilson, "are the Packers' last two - the 17-0 victory over St. Louis and the 49-0 victory over the Chicago Bears." Didn't the Bear rout impress him? "There's no denying the Packers are a good tough team," Wilson said. "But the Bears last Sunday looked worse than any Bear team I've ever seen - including the war years. They had a lot of guys out with injuries and Bill Wade (quarterback) had an awful day. St. Louis had much the same trouble the week before when Sam Etcheverry couldn't hit his pass receivers. If he had thrown against Green Bay the way he did against us, the Cardinals could have given them far more trouble." Lion strategy already has been formulated for the big showdown with the Packers. That was done during the two days of work in the screening room. But steady drizzle Wednesday afternoon and the soggy turf at Tiger Stadium hampered their on-the-field preparation.
MEMO TO PACK: SHUTOUT SKEIN CAN BOOMERANG
OCT 5 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - The Packers have two shutouts in a row, but don't get excited. The 49ers did it a year ago, and promptly fell on their face. San Francisco blanked the Lions, of all people (who play here Sunday). 49 to 0, and then downed the Rams 35-0. These two whitewashers followed a 30-10 loss to the Pack. So what happened after the blanking wins? The 49ers downed the Vikings 35-24 and then suffered a shutout themselves, 31-0, at the hands of the Bears - not to mention two more losses in their next two games. The 49ers finished with 7-6-1...The Lions are off to their best start (3-0) since 1956 when they won their first six. Later that season - on Thanksgivings Day, in fact, the Packers pasted the Lions and knocked them out of the Western championship. This allowed the Bears to sneak in...This is the Pack's best start (3-0) since Vince Lombardi made his debut in 1959. The Bays won three in a row (9-6 over the Bears, 28-10 over the Lions and 21-20 over the 49ers), and shocked the living bejabbers out of the rest of the league since this magic came on the heels of a 1-10-1 season. The Bays then (horrors) lost five straight but finished off brilliantly with four straight wins...L.C. McGowan of 531 S. Van Buren showed up at Packer practice yesterday with a football autographed by members of the 1935 College All Star team. Among the signers were Phil Bengtson, then a tackle out of Minnesota, and Don Hutson, an end from Alabama. McGowan was visiting at Northwestern University with his sone at the time and "we got a football and had the players sign it."...There's no such thing as an official championship flag in the NFL - as in baseball. If the Packers or any other team wants a championship flag, "they'll have to sew one themselves," says Jim Kensil, the NFL publicity chief...There is a suspicion that the Lions will be snarling especially loud and vicious Sunday. Wally Cruice, the Packer scout who viewed the
the Colt-Lion game in Baltimore last Sunday, observed: "The coaches had trouble getting the Lions up for Baltimore because they'd been looking ahead to the Packers. And the Lions didn't play well in the first half." The Lions got down to business and dispatched the Colts in the second half...The Mike and Pen Club broke precedent this week and selected a group as their "sportsman" of the month. The organization of press, radio and TV folks selected the Packer defense as the "sportsmen of the month" for allowing the first three opponents just seven points. Incidentally, the M and P Club, just a little over a year old, has started something. Madison has formed a club and Appleton and Milwaukee are asking for details...The Packers and Lions will be in top physical condition for their big saw-off. The Bays' two injured, Paul Hornung and Tom Moore, are moving well and the Lions welcomed the week a healthy Tom Watkins, the halfback obtained from Cleveland in the Plum deal. Watkins, who helps make the Lions backfield deep, plays behind Danny Lewis at left half...Two former Packers earned honors for duty in last Sunday's game. Dale Hackbart, the ex-Wisconsin star who played a year with the Pack, was named the Redskins' most valuable player for his work in the victory over the Cards. He intercepted one pass, recovered two fumbles, made a key tackle on fourth down and did emergency punting. Ernie Green, the rookie who was with the Pack in training camp this year, was commended thusly by Paul Brown - "If there was a bright spot out there (the Browns lost to Philly 35-7), it was Ernie Green. He's young yet but he knows how to give you that extra effort." Ernie carried twice for 18 yards, caught two passes for 10 yards, and returned two kickoffs for 72 yards...The Lions will arrive in Green Bayville via plane around noon Saturday. They are scheduled to drill lightly in the afternoon and then relax at the Northland...Milt Plum has thrown all of the Lions' passes but one. You'll never guess who threw that one. None other than Mr. Yale Lary, the defensive back who punts. Lary, who runs from punt formation on occasion, tried a fourth down pass from punt formation against the Colts last Sunday, but the pass-back from center was high (of all times). The throw was off the mark.
BOB KENNEDY TO SEE PACKER GAME SUNDAY
OCT 5 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - Atty. Gen. Robert Kennedy, in Wisconsin this weekend to plug the state Democratic ticket, will make a "non-political" stop in Green Bay Sunday to witness the Packers-Detroit Lions game at City Stadium. Kennedy is coming to Wisconsin to be the main speaker Saturday night at a Milwaukee fund raising dinner on behalf of State Atty. Gen. John Reynolds, a Democratic candidate for governor. Kennedy will arrive in Milwaukee late in the day, and a news conference is scheduled for 5 p.m. Kennedy is scheduled to leave Milwaukee by private plane about 11 a.m. Sunday and to land at Austin Straubel Field at about noon. He will go directly to City Stadium. Reynolds, Patrick Lucey, state Democratic chairman, and perhaps Gov. Gaylord Nelson, a candidate for the Senate this fall, are to accompany Kennedy to Green Bay. The attorney general will fly from Straubel Field after the game to Chicago to make a commercial flight back to Washington. It will be his first visit to Green Bay since the early part of the 1960 state primary campaign, when he helped direct the successful campaign for his brother. Kennedy has a reputation as a football follower and is a personal acquaintance of Vince Lombardi, Packer head coach. Lombardi as well as state Democratic leaders invited Kennedy for the game.
LIONS GET REAL TEST ON OFFENSE
OCT 5 (Detroit Free Press) - How good, really, is the Lions' new offense? It will have to prove plenty good, if the Lions are to beat the Green Bay Packers Sunday and assume command of the NFL's Western Division race. Thus far the Lions have been able to produce points more rapidly than any Lion team in recent years. Their offense has been the most striking of the current pro football season. But a nagging thought persists: The Baltimore Colts, though beaten by the Lions, gave them considerable trouble. Did the Colts, with their trouble teaming of pass receivers Terry Barr and Gail Cogdill, have the scheme which could stop the Lions? The Colts were keenly prepared. They made it plenty tough for quarterback Milt Plum, tougher than he had found it the previous two weeks against Pittsburgh and San Francisco. The Lions can only expect more of the same treatment from Green Bay - two men collaring Barr, two riding herd on Cogdill. Head coach George Wilson concedes that the Colts prepared well for what the Lions had to offer. Yet outwardly he showed no concern that the Packers may copy the Colt defense. "We ran up more than 400 yards," Wilson said. "I'll settle for that any day. Besides the double team of our receivers will take care of itself. They are ways to beat that. When you beat double coverage on one man, you weaken the defense somewhere else. That figures, doesn't it?" Uh, huh. Even so, the Lions know they are in for a tough fight. The stakes are high: leadership in the Western Division and it will take some doing to crack the Packers. Green Bay's defense is the toughest the Lions will face in 1962. The Packers have yet to yield more than 100 yards rushing in a game, their pass defenders have intercepted 12 enemy aerials; overall, the Packers have been hit for only one touchdown. "When you come right down to it," says backfield coach Scooter McLean, "the answer to winning or losing will come in blocking and tackling." Bluntly, it's muscle the Lions are turning to this week.
LION BOMBS MAY FLY AGAINST PACK SUNDAY
OCT 6 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - We pick winners on Sunday. Let's try picking something on Saturday - such as the Lions' main method of attack in City Stadium tomorrow. There are only two ways the Detroits can attack - on the ground or in the air. Which way? The Lions' top two rushers, Nick Pietrosante and Danny Lewis, are averaging an even four yards per crack, while injury-recovered Tommy Watkins has a fancy 8.1. They'll run, for sure, but will the Lions lean on the rush as much as the Packers? Green Bay, by comparison, is getting an average of 5.7 yards out of Jim Taylor, 5.0 out of Paul Hornung, and, yikes, 7.2 out of Elijah Pitts. The Lions scored 6 TDs on the ground, the Pack 10. In the Air Dept., Detroit, or rather Milt Plum, has completed 53 passes for 783 yards and 9 touchdowns against the Pack's 35-495-3. The Lions' top three receivers (Terry Barr, Gail Cogdill and Jim Gibbons) caught 36 passes. The Pack's top trio (Boyd Dowler, Max McGee and Ron Kramer) caught 24. Mr. Plum is leading the league in passing while his quarterback opponent, Mr. Bart Starr, ranks fifth. Plum pitched 82 passes; Starr 52. It's interesting to note that Bart is backed up by two "perfect" passers - John Roach and Hornung. Roach completed 1 for 1 for 11 yards; Hornung completed his 2 tries for 49 yards. Plum wasn't in the game when Detroit's other pass was thrown. That was the work of Yale Lary off a fake punt. The guess (pick) here is that the Lions will unload the aerial bombs - early and often, but don't be surprised at anything.
LIONS USE COGDILL AS A 'DECOY' END
OCT 6 (Detroit Free Press) - Gail Cogdill must wonder about his roomie. His roomie could make him a big hero, the new wonder of pro football. It would be a simple thing, the least one roomie could do for another. But Milt Plum, the Lion quarterback, is making even better use of Cogdill, the great young end whom coach George Wilson calls "as good or better than any pass receiver in pro football." Under Plum's direction, Cogdill has become the essential "decoy" in the Lions' passing scheme. It is Cogdill that Lion rivals fear the most in planning their pass defenses. All season, they have schemed to put two men on Cogdill wherever he roamed on a football field. Plum, Wilson, everyone delights in it, except Cogdill. "That's one of the reasons we've been able to hit Terry Barr so frequently," Wilson said Friday, as the Lions completed the heavy work for their Sunday showdown with the Green Bay Packers. "Teams that play us can't afford to ignore Cogdill, or hope that just one man can do a job on him. If they do, Gail can ruin them." No one of ambition or talent relishes the idea of being a decoy, Cogdill doesn't, either. Yet, even in a secondary role, the tall, handsome end from Washington State has been able to pick enough passes to retain his identity as the Lions' "most dangerous receiver." He's had 10 catches thus far, second only to Barr, whose 18 is best for the year in the NFL. But if Cogdill whispers to his sleeping roomie, "Throw it to me, Milt," Wilson can understand. "I know what it is to be a decoy," the coach laughs. "If you're an end, you want to catch passes." To this day, Wilson is remembered as a tough blocking,
"I know what it is to be a decoy," the coach laughs. "If you're an end, you want to catch passes." To this day, Wilson is remembered as a tough blocking, rugged defensive player whose pass catching skills supposedly were overlooked by the Chicago Bears a quarter century ago. Actually, to this day, the record books show his as one of the Bears' leading receivers. "It all works out," the coach said. "The idea, after all, is to win." The Lions are madder than ever, ready to show the Packers a thing or two, as a result of Packer talk which has filtered to Detroit through Lion assistant manager Bud Erickson. Erickson, in Green Bay in advance of the Lions' trip there Saturday, sends word that the Packers are claiming they cannot be stopped. "Jim Taylor in interviews is saying that there is no defense that can contain the Packers when they are on the attack," Erickson reported. The Lions scoff. They are determined to show that the Green Bay fullback can, indeed, be stopped. They have similar intentions with Ron Kramer, the former University of Michigan end now with the Packers. Kramer, a native of East Detroit, sends word into town that the Lions really are not much. "The loudmouth will eat those words," the Lions insisted.
PACKERS, LIONS CLASH FOR WESTERN DIVISION LEAD
OCT 7 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - Supremacy of the Western Division will be at stake when the Packers and Lions collide in City Stadium this afternoon. This will be the first "big game" of the 1962 NFL season. The winner will come out with the best record in the league - a gaudy 4-0, and the inside track toward the Western Division crown. This is a game both teams welcome because it will help settle some dust - and blood. The Packers want to prover their right to a third straight title. A victory would give them a big "lift" over the team
Green Bay Packers running back Paul Hornung (5) runs the sweep as guard Jerry Kramer (64) attempts to block Chicago Bears defensive back Dave Whitsell (23). (CREDIT: GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE)
Green Bay Packers fullback Jim Taylor (31) scores a touchdown against Richie Petitbon (17). (CREDIT: GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE)
A Chicago Bears player attempts to stop Green Bay Packers running back Elijah Pitts (22). (CREDIT: GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE)
Green Bay Packers Paul Hornung (5) and Hank Gremminger (46) watch as Green Bay Packer head coach Vince Lombardi makes a call to the press box. (CREDIT: GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE)
which is rated as their toughest challenger. The Lions played second fiddle to Green Bay the last two seasons. They expect to beat out the Pack this season and you can bet their title schedule calls for a win over Green Bay today. Packerville has been jumpy all week over this one but the wait is just about over. Kickoff is set for the usual 1:06 and a filled house of 38,669 will be on hand, not including Atty. Gen. Robert Kennedy. It could rain. The favored Packers face a monumental task chiefly because (1) the Lions are always tough for Green Bay and (2) the 1962 Lions have an offense. The Lions had difficulty scoring last year but they came off with a split with Green Bay last year. They whipped the champs in Milwaukee 17-13 and then succumbed in the rematch in Detroit Thanksgiving Day 17-9. Those two scores smack of defense and that could be the big story today. The Packers have allowed only seven points in their first three wins but, like we said, the Lions have an offense this time around. The Lions have Milt Plum at quarterback and the ex-Brownie has led the Motormen to 119 points in their first three wins - an average of nearly 40 marks per start. Plum has been making excellent use of his two big backs, Nick Pietrosante and Danny Lewis (plus a healthy Tim Watkins) and the big three receivers, Terry Barr, who leads the club in pass catching, Jim Gibbons and Gail Cogdill. With two straight shutouts under their belts, the Packer defense, fronted by Bill Quinlan, Hank Jordan, Dave Hanner and Willie Davis, faces a fierce challenge since the Lions are the highest scoring team in the league. The Lions have always had a reputation for defense and the Packers know all about it. Green Bay scored just three touchdowns in the last Detroit games last year. The Lions' defense has only one chance. Sam Williams has taken over for Bill Glass who went to the Browns in the Plum trade. The defense is spearheaded by Alex Karras and Roger Brown in the line, Joe Schmidt at linebacker and Yale Lary in the secondary. The Packer offense exploded for the first time last Sunday in the 49-0 triumph over the Bears and Bart Starr has all of his big guns polished up for today - especially the Big Five, Paul Hornung, Jim Taylor, Max McGee, Boyd Dowler and Ron Kramer...LINES HOLD KEY: The big front lines of the two clubs undoubtedly will hold the key in this game. That pinpoints Jim Ringo and his offensive line crew because if the Pack's offense is to move Starr's
uniform must be kept spotless. Also, the defense must bother Plum. Coach Vince Lombardi feels that the Packers came through with a good week of practice and he noted that the two injured players, Tom Moore and Hornung, are in good working order. Coach George Wilson of the Lions has his squad in excellent physical condition. These two coaches will be matching wits for the seventh time. Vince won both games in 1959 but they split the next two seasons. What's for 1962?
LIONS WILL BEAT PACKERS IN BIG ONE
OCT 7 (Green Bay-Detroit Free Press) - Boasting is not in the nature of many football coaches. Rare, indeed, do they dare even predict a victory. So it was something of a jolt when Detroit Lion coaches, having viewed films, plotted strategy, worked with their team, bluntly pronounced that the Lions would whip the Green Bay Packers here Sunday. This is it for the Lions, and for Green Bay, too, the one big game of the NFL's Western Division race. On its outcome rides the shape of things to come. First place will be at stake, the challenging Lions against the champion Packers when a capacity crowd of more than 38,000 cram into Civic Stadium to see them. The kickoff is at 2 p.m. The Detroit telecast will be carried on WJBK-TV (Channel 2). Though neither the Lions nor the Packers believe the 1962 division title will swing on their showdown Sunday, the stakes are still mighty high. "We know we can't win the title without beating them," said Lion head coach George Wilson. "They know they can't win it again without beating us. We'd rather beat them now and let them scramble to catch up." Wilson and his aides are almost a respectful, cautious lot when assessing the Lions' chance against any opponent. Their usual offerings go along the line of "it'll be a tough game; they (the other team) are plenty tough." Now, however, for some reason, they've come out openly. "We'll beat the Packers," insisted backfield coach Scooter McLean. "We'll whip 'em," chorused line coach Aldo Forte. Why all the great optimism? The wisest observers of the football scene say the Packers should win by 8 1/2 points. "Our guys have never conceded a thing to the Packers," said Wilson, "not even while Green Bay was winning the title and we were finishing second the last two years." the Lions are convinced that they should have swept Green Bay in 1961 and gone on themselves to the NFL championship. They respect the Packers, but believe they're better. And, in fact, the Lions are better, far better than the Lions of 1961. They have improved much more than the Packers. Quarterback Milt Plum, pass receivers Terry Barr, Gail Cogdill and Jim Gibbons, and runners Nick Pietrosante, Dan Lewis, and Tommy Watkins should show whether the Packer defense is all it is supposed to be. Only one touchdown has been scored against it this year. The Lion defense, masterminded by linebacker Joe Schmidt, has
talked itself into a big mad against the Packers following scoffing remarks by Green Bay fullback Jim Taylor ("There's no defense that can stop us.") Paul Hornung, the running mate of Taylor and a sometime passer in the Green Bay scheme of things, has recovered from a leg injury and will be in the Packer lineup. Watkins, who sat out the Lions' game last Sunday, has recovered from a back ailment.